A Lisper asks, "Am I supposed to like Smalltalk?"

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Wed May 17 23:40:27 UTC 2006

With regard to the idea of making tools to edit Smalltalk in large  
chunks, like those dead languages do, one needs to see Smalltalk as a  
huge and (hopefully) elegant library of Haiku rather than a second  
hand bookstore filled with tattered copies of Stephen King effluvia.  
Sure, the King verbiage sells more than Haiku. But which is likely to  
be remembered in a 1000 years time?

The tool/media combination you use has a very notable effect on what  
your write and how; when carving in stone was the only option it was  
important to think carefully how you said it. When many reporters  
used the little epson hx-80 (?) laptop/tablet or the Tandy 100 (?)  
with the dinky 4-8 lines screens they wrote much tighter prose than  
you will see on the prairie like screens of a 17" laptop.

The typical Smalltalk browser is well suited to writing code haiku.  
That encourages reusability by keeping methods small and intelligable  
and responsible for one small job that can be made use of again and  
again. A vast slobbering tract of Kingish code is as much use as a  
chocolate teapot and about as reusable.It might seem like a sweet  
idea to start with but you'll soon realise it degenerates into a  
wishy-washy mess that just gets stuck to everything and leaves a  
nasty stain no matter how you try to wash it off.

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried  

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